★★★ Open House ★★★
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Global Conflicts: Palestine
© 2007 Serious Games Interactive

CTR Review
Rating: 86%
Ease of Use
Design Features
Reviewed using the Standard Rubric
For ages 12-up
For grades 7, 8, 9, S, Jr, Sr.
$20, Windows, Mac OSX
Teaches: journalism, social studies, history, reading
Tagged for: History
Why would someone want to become a suicide bomber? How does it feel to wait in line at a border crossing? What's it like to be a young Israeli soldier on a raid?

Designed with the look and feel of a rather clunky video game, this 3D simulation for one player puts you in the middle of the Israeli-Palestine conflict on a scavenger-hunt mission to collect facts. After you sign in, you choose between being one of two US journalists: a Jewish female from New York or a Palestinian male from Washington DC. You can write for one of three papers, each with a different perspective. There are six assignments, that you can do in sequence, or individually -- a nice flexible feature for classroom use.

After you meet your editor, you are given an assignment -- such as to better understand the concept of martyrdom. To collect a quote, you approach a subject in the street and choose from a set of preselected questions. To get the good quotes, you must stay politically balanced in your questioning, and earn the good will of your subjects, indicated on a "trustometer." After you collect five quotes, you phone your story to your paper. The better your quotes, the better your placement in tomorrow's paper.

By video game standards, the navigation leaves a bit to be desired. Moving around uses a "click and follow" technique, and you must look at a map frequently to find your next interview. There's a lot of reading of multiple-choice questions, and the game would be more fun with some random elements to discover, to keep you exploring. Still, the premise works, and the game provides an excellent vehicle for immersing a learner in the issues.

This is the first installment in a series of games involving global conflicts. A South American version is planned for Fall 2008. Visit for more information.

Created using the Unity Engine by OTEE in Denmark by Serious Games Interactive with the help of several partners, including Danida, Media+, The Foreign Ministry of Denmark, The Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation, the IT University of Copenhagen and OTEE.
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